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Heinz 57
Dec. 13, 2011, 04:13 PM
Just as the title says.

Big head, fat tongue, low palate. By 'soft mouth', I mean he needs to be encouraged to take and accept a steady contact and is more than happy to hide behind it. When he IS working correctly he has a soft, putty-in-the-hands contact.

I have him in a KK, which he's not totally wild about, but doesn't hate. He doesn't like single jointed, we'll assume that it stabs him due to his fat tongue/low palate. I'm hesitant to try anything too narrow, thinking it will encourage further dropping behind and might encourage him into his favorite evasion - the open mouth.

I have a mullen mouth happy mouth at home that I was going to try on him tonight...it may be on the thicker side, and illegal for competition, but what the heck. What about a myler? They are fairly slim...

Ideas? Teeth are good, chiro has been seen recently, saddle fits as well as possible right now and if anything, you can accuse me of being too light-handed.

wildlifer
Dec. 13, 2011, 04:26 PM
Mine like that loves a French link boucher. He just leans on a mullen mouth, I wish I could use it! I don't think that is illegal for competition though? I got the cheap boucher (JP?) so it was only about $35. The stability of this bit seems to be the key to happiness.

I have a Myler, that I jump my OTTB in and you are right, it is slim and my guys don't find it as "contact friendly" as the slightly thicker boucher.

Perfect Pony
Dec. 13, 2011, 05:01 PM
I used a HS DUO for quite a while to get my pony to accept contact. It worked so well she recently started to lean onto it and we have moved on, but it really was a magic bit for her for a while. It is very thin for a mullen mouth, slightly flexible, and it is legal in competition.

Far_North_Equestrian
Dec. 13, 2011, 06:59 PM
I had a similar situation to you - mine went OK in a thicker KK, but went honesty the best in a 14mm (narrowest that is legal) KK ultra.

You could try a happy mouth too, and I've heard good things about Mylers as well.

Heinz 57
Dec. 13, 2011, 07:04 PM
It is very thin for a mullen mouth, slightly flexible, and it is legal in competition.

Why was I under the impression that it wasn't? Hmm..

Of course, Zee Poneez always like the most expensive bits best. How do you think I ended up with a KK in the first place?!

Fancy That
Dec. 13, 2011, 07:13 PM
I agree with a THINNER mouthpiece, not thicker. THe HS Duo is GREAT! I'd try that if I were you.

If he isn't going well in the KK Ultra, you may need to go with something quite different (like a thin, flexible mullen mouth -thus the HS Duo or maybe a Nathe or Poponcini)

Jleegriffith
Dec. 13, 2011, 07:30 PM
I love the HS Duo are nathe's for these types.

BigRuss1996
Dec. 13, 2011, 07:44 PM
Myler french link type loose ring snaffle...

Foxtrot's
Dec. 13, 2011, 08:40 PM
I had a POA pony who had a similar mouth plus rather thick lips. A snaffle would pinch her lips onto her bars. We used a Nathe and presumably could take some of the pressure off her bars by using her tongue. The Nathe is flexible plastic mullen mouth type, with a narrower centre. When we sold her, the new owners put her in a kimberwick because they found her a bit hot - she went up in the air which was not fair because she was fine in the Nathe. Softer worked better than hard with her and her mouth.

hanohorse
Dec. 13, 2011, 10:23 PM
I have used a french link boucher and a happy mouth mullen with sucsess. My horses don't seem to like the Myler snaffle though....

besum1
Dec. 14, 2011, 01:32 AM
my horse is the exact same way! I've found the only bit that he's truly happy in is the HS Duo or the Nathe (which are basically the same)

The Myler was to thin, the Happy Mouth to stiff? I don't know- he just clamped his mouth shut and I'd have to pry it open to get it in! Quickly stopping riding in that one... He was fine in the loose ring KK, but his mouth was so small that the bit would hit his canine teeth and if I got a smaller size it would pinch his lips... but so far he's been really happy in the Nathe and easily accepts the bit again when tacking up :)

I just wish they weren't sooo expensive for a piece of rubber!!! But whatever makes him happy! hahaha

candysgirl
Dec. 14, 2011, 07:12 AM
My guy like that likes either JP Korsteel's eggbutt oval mouth or a mullen mouth pelham. I'm not entirely sure why, but those are his two favorites. He'll seek contact with those, but fights, flails or ducks pretty much anything else. He didn't like Mylers, they were too thin.

IFG
Dec. 14, 2011, 07:48 AM
Another one here. The Nathe was great, but he did start to lean on it. Right now, JP eggbutt french link. Double jointed Happy Mouths, and a rubber mullen pelham for fox hunting.

Also, not to sound like a broken record, but the Micklem made a world of difference for this horse.

frugalannie
Dec. 14, 2011, 08:14 AM
If you can find one...a straight bar snaffle with a low wide port. It is legal for dressage. I got mine in a box of random used tack that I bought, and I understand that they are used for driving, albeit rarely. Mine is a lovely eggbutt with the bar curving to join the ring. I have seen others that were loose ring.

If you want a cheap alternative to try at home, find an old Kimberwicke that meets that description (low wide port), and try it without the curb chain. Your pony will let you know if he likes the feeling.

And I second IFG's comment about the Micklem, just 'cause I like them so much.

GreyDes
Dec. 14, 2011, 08:24 AM
This might be too thick for your guy, but my Arab has been really happy in the Herm Sprenger Dynamic RS eggbutt - http://www.vtosaddlery.com/product/Eggbutt/SDRDS.htm.

For him, the eggbutt v. loose ring makes a significant difference, and the curved mouthpiece seems to help. I think the extra stability is more comfortable in his mouth. Not a cheap bit, but you can rent them from Bit of Britain or Dressage Extensions to try before you buy.

And I third the Micklem!

BestHorses
Dec. 14, 2011, 09:12 AM
I had the same issue with one of mine. He ended up happiest in the HS Duo. The Nathe was too thick for him! He really liked the thin mouthpiece of the Duo. He hated anything with a joint since I think it pinched his tongue. His second favorite bit was a Myler comfort snaffle. It was still a thin bit but the joint couldn't pinch him.

eventer_mi
Dec. 14, 2011, 09:40 AM
My guy has a mouth similar to what you describe, except that he would go from "too soft" by curling behind, to yanking and pulling. Argh. He now goes beautifully in a loose-ring Stubben EZ control bit for dressage, and a full-cheek of the same for jumping. The bit forms a solid mouthpiece when they lean on it, discouraging them from pulling, but stays soft when they accept it. LOVE this bit.

Petstorejunkie
Dec. 14, 2011, 10:00 AM
You haven't mentioned bar spacing, bit seat in relation to lips, or the narrowness of his lower jaw.
Those are all huge determining factors in what direction you go.

sandycrosseventing
Dec. 14, 2011, 10:53 AM
I've had success with mullens on these types. Your Happy Mouth should be legal.

Heinz 57
Dec. 14, 2011, 12:37 PM
You haven't mentioned bar spacing, bit seat in relation to lips, or the narrowness of his lower jaw.
Those are all huge determining factors in what direction you go.

Probably because I was pondering the subject sitting at home on the couch. :winkgrin:

He doesn't have particularly fat lips, just a big tongue (both in thickness and in width) in a relatively small mouth.

Heinz 57
Dec. 14, 2011, 01:04 PM
Also, not to sound like a broken record, but the Micklem made a world of difference for this horse.

Forgot to touch this...

I'd love to try one on him. I think he would benefit - but I don't know ANYONE around here that has one, and am not at a point where I can go spend $100 to find out if it makes any significant improvement. :no:

Foxtrot's
Dec. 14, 2011, 05:53 PM
It is hghly recommended to try an borrow a bit, or have a return policy if purchasing -

There sounds like there might be some pinching going on in there, so mild and soft hands and use of seat. If he is a tank, then some nose control??
No curb chain, or pointy, pinchy snaffle.

GreyDes
Dec. 14, 2011, 07:58 PM
FYI - Dover has a rental/trial Micklem. I'm not sure of the details, but it's on their website. http://www.doversaddlery.com/product.asp?pn=X1-TR804&ids=87159779

cls
Dec. 14, 2011, 10:36 PM
This... is my guy too:

"Big head, fat tongue, low palate. By 'soft mouth', I mean he needs to be encouraged to take and accept a steady contact and is more than happy to hide behind it. When he IS working correctly he has a soft, putty-in-the-hands contact."

I have had really good luck with this Sprenger Mullen Mouth snaffle. He was very uncomfortable in a KK or regular snaffle and a Myler Comfort Snaffle was too thin for him but this works really well.

http://www.shopatron.com/products/category/9281.0.1.1.9663.102534.104595.0.0?pkey=08bca2d5cbe 965e69739d8ea25405045&ckey=9663.102534.104595.0.0

easyrider
Dec. 14, 2011, 11:08 PM
Try an HS french link (also Aurigan, like your KK). Comes in a D or a loose-ring or a loose-ring bradoon (different sizes among them). Some horses just don't like the tongue pressure of the bean, so they curl or back off the pressure.

Rainier
Dec. 15, 2011, 01:08 AM
This is what I use for my horse like this ...

http://www.doversaddlery.com/product.asp_Q_pn_E_x1-01300

The thinner bits seem to do better for him. For jumping, its a center revolver loose ring snaffle with hooks (within the snaffle ring, not like a curb chain). Its taken me forever to find this combination, as he has a low palate and small mouth, but can go back and forth from leaning on the bit to going behind the vertical easily.

Heinz 57
Dec. 15, 2011, 01:27 AM
Tried the happy mouth mullen...

And, well.... huh. Not sure. Moments of better, moments of foamy-mouth, good contact, but also moments of mouth-gaping, teeth-clacking and sulking behind the leg and/or going inverted when pushed up. Yes, we have some other issues to deal with aside from finding the right bit, but I didn't get the impression that he was yelling 'OMG MOM THIS IS THE ONE!'.

SO. Thinking:

More than the soft plastic happy mullen, less than the fat mouth KK. :lol:

I'm not sure he was in love with the mullen aspect, but am willing to try others, like the Duo. Does happy mouth make any other bits that come in that softer plastic, versus the hard stuff?

PNWjumper
Dec. 15, 2011, 02:45 AM
I had an ultra-sensitive (borderline nutty) horse with a really fat palate and tongue. I had to have tried over 20 bits on him. After trying every "soft" bit known to man, the one that I finally settled on (and it was a night-and-day difference) was the Mikmar combination bit (curved, low port). The big, light, unjointed, wide mouthpiece got my guy to the point that he would lean on it a little bit (he wanted to curl way behind the bit in everything else), and I think the combination action helped "explain" my requests to him better....which was a surprise since I tried every form of a hackamore on him and none worked at all.